Championships Women’s Final 8

KINGSTON, Ont. (April 1, 2022) – Lauren Rainford led all scorers with 25 points as the UPEI Panthers defeated the Acadia Axewomen 78-67 to advance to the fifth-place game at the U SPORTS Women’s Final 8. Rainford added two blocks, two assists, and two steals in the win for the Panthers over the AUS champions.

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UPEI jumped out to a 15-11 lead after the first quarter and held a 37-26 lead at halftime. A back-and-forth second half led to the 11-point win for the Panthers.

“It was a great team win today,” said Rainford, who was named the Panthers Player of the Game. “30-point losses are really hard to come back from, but I think we did a great job. We stayed together, a lot of energy, and I think that everybody on the court today had fun.”

“We didn’t want to go home yet, and you saw that today.”

The Panthers also got big offensive contributions from Alicia Bowering and Carolina Del Santo, who chipped in 11 points each. Sydney Cummins had nine points off the bench for UPEI.

“We’re all competitors, so when you get a chance, especially after the last couple of years, on a national stage, you shouldn’t need motivation,” said Matt Gamblin, the Panthers head coach about bouncing back from their quarterfinal loss to win on Friday. “They came out and played really hard today, I was really proud of the effort.”

Four players scored in double figures for the Axewomen in the loss, with Elizabeth Beals-Isey leading the way with 16 points. Sandy Saunders and Jayda Veinot had 12 points each while Olivia Moller added 11 points for Acadia.

“It’s definitely not the tournament we had hoped for and prepared for, but that happens in sport,” said Veinot after the game. “You need to play good defence to win games here and I think we weren’t quite there consistently this weekend.”

“I’m incredibly proud of the team though. It’s been a growing season but it’s been quite a successful one so we have that to hold on to.”

Veinot was named Player of the Game for the Axewomen.

With the win, the Panthers, who entered the tournament as the No. 8 seed, will play in the fifth-place game on Sunday at noon. They will take on the winner of the second consolation game between the Saskatchewan Huskies and Laval Rouge et Or.

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UPEI Panthers: Lauren Rainford
Acadia Axewomen: Jayda Veinot